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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-29

COVID-19-related social stigmas in India and the approaches to mitigate them

Independent Public Health Researcher, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Janmejaya Samal
C/O- Mr. Bijaya Ketan Samal, At-Pansapalli, Po-Bangarada, Via-Gangapur, Ganjam - 761 123, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_97_20

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Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic and a public health emergency of international concern as declared by the Word Health Organization. The entire world is affected by the scourge of this disease and has created equal amount of tension in the social spheres as in science and medicine. There are reports of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and ostracization in several communities throughout the globe, both urban and rural owing to the social stigma associated with it. Stigma can result owing to a lack of knowledge about COVID-19 and can lead to more fear and anxiety in the society. It can cause harm and allow myth and rumor to gain traction in societies. Thus, it becomes imperative that during this international crisis period, all human beings should stand together to fight against this menace and be informed correctly about the disease from appropriate sources, not from social media, and help each other. The concerned stakeholders such as community, media, and government agencies need to play their role which would ultimately bring about change in the society and ward off the social stigma and discrimination. It is ultimately the community that suffers a lot from such pandemics, thus every community member should stand with solidarity and help each other; the media should bring about the appropriate information from appropriate sources and help creating awareness to prevent racism, biasness, and xenophobia. At this crisis moment, the government agencies should bring about notices, circulars, and public information and lay down the roles and responsibilities of different government departments to curb this menace.

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